Combative, provocative and engaging live debate examining the moral issues behind one of the week's…
Michael Buerk chairs a debate on the moral questions behind the week's news. Michael Portillo, Melanie Phillips, Claire Fox and Matthew Taylor cross-examine witnesses.
Who to send to war and why is one of the most morally difficult decisions any politician will have to make. If we don't have a clear and legally-justifiable set of goals, is it ever morally right to send young men - and increasingly women - to face death? With the images of the latest members of our forces to be killed all over the front pages of the papers, it is a question that all of us, not just politicians, have to face up to.
The goal of the Afghan campaign has variously been described as fighting Al-Qaeda terrorists, freeing the country from the despotic Taleban regime and fighting the drugs trade, but do any of them add up to a moral justification? What is our moral obligation to Afghanistan and is it challenged by the rising number of casualties? Is the current disquiet at home over the high rate of casualties because we no longer believe in this war? Or have we become so risk averse that we have forgotten that the enemy will shoot back and that people get killed? Do we still have the moral courage and moral authority to send our armed forces in to battle on our behalf?
Canon Dr Alan Billings
Anglican priest and chaplain in the British armed forces, teaching military ethics
Writer and political activist, co-founder of the Stop the War Coalition
Chairperson of the British Afghan Women's Society.